It’s coming to the end of triathlon season here in the northern hemisphere, and as our races are coming to an end the time comes to revaluate our training. Winter training is often looked at as being second to the training blocks in preparation for your main events, however the off season is a great time to work on your base fitness, and get some much needed recovery.
The winter months can be just as useful for your training as the spring and summer, but it’s important to have a proper plan. Starting with a 1 to 2 week break from training is especially important, not only to give your body a proper chance to recover from the high training load of the summer, but also to give your mind a rest ensuring you don’t get burnt out and demotivated. This doesn’t mean you stop doing any activity at all, but taking a break from swimming, cycling and running can go a long way when it comes to getting back into your dedicated training.
When you’ve taken your break and are ready to start training again, starting with a 4 week light training period is a great way to begin your winter workouts. Keeping the volume low, and generally doing low intensity workouts is important as it allows you time to build technique and good form which will show when you get into your high volume training when the season starts again.
Next you’ll need to look at what races you want to do next season, and allow time for race specific training that will get you into top form for those events. The gap between your easy training and race specific training should be filled with some general preparation. This will continue with the focus on good form and technique, but also begin to integrate a few longer workouts and some high intensity. Remember this isn’t the time to be aiming for pb’s but the time to build your base, so you’ll be even stronger next season. Integrating some strength and conditioning is also a good idea in the later stages of your general prep, this will help build injury prevention for when you start your higher intensity training and give you that edge over your competitors.